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Worn Brake Pad Indicator Noise & Front Vibration

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I just started to hear a noise coming from the front left tire of my 2002 Volvo XC70. I noticed it when I was driving down Rte 9 next to some cement barriers. The noise became less noticeable as my speed decreased. I believe this is probably due to a worn brake pad indicator. The car was purchased two years ago with 44K miles on it. It now has 61K on it. New brake pads were installed 2 years ago. When I had my 60K check up months ago, brake pads were not mentioned as an issue. So, while I am surprised, I think that is the issue.

In addition, I am noticing that my car vibrates once it exceeds 65 mph on the highway (certainly not a Volvo safety mechanism
) Is it possible that the two are related? The worn brake pad indicator is making the grinding noise and causing the front of the car to vibrate? Or are they different?

My search within the forums has brought up Road Force Balancing or something along those lines as a solution for road vibration. I am thinking of bringing it in to my local dealer - Farrell Volvo - to have them take a look. Any thoughts on what this could be before I do that? My tires are also two years old and appear to be in good shape, but I anticipate getting new tires next fall for the winter.

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Re: Worn Brake Pad Indicator Noise & Front Vibration (kinnup6)

Most brake pads have a wear indicator of sorts. Take the wheel off and look at the brake pad (no need to remove any other components). If you can't make out the groove down the center of the pad, the pads are basically shot and the noise could well be the wear indicator. I'd be surprised if you wore out your pads in 17k miles.

If the groove still exists (indicating some brake life left), the noise could be something else, like a wheel bearing if it's speed-dependent. Does the noise change when you turn the car left or right at speed?
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